Should You Resign Based on a Verbal Offer for a New Job?

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End an employment relationship on a positive note.
End an employment relationship on a positive note. (Image: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

A verbal offer for a new job is not the same as a finalized offer. Therefore, keep your options open and keep in mind that an employer’s verbal promise for a new job may not necessarily materialize. Plan accordingly, so you are not left in limbo without employment.

Considerations

Resigning based on a verbal offer for a new job is a decision that could cost you in the end. In her article “Waiting for the Official Job Offer,” career expert Linda Matias says, “Frequently, job seekers are offered a position by an interviewer, but never hear from Human Resources.” In some instances, months pass before an employer makes a firm offer. Matias recounts the story of a job seeker named Helene who is told by a hiring manager, “Congratulations, I am going to recommend you for the position. Expect a call from HR.” Helene never receives the phone call.

Steps to Minimize Risk

Establishing the steps that come after each interview will minimize your risk of being strung along by an employer. Before leaving an interview, ask the interviewer what you’re supposed to do next and what the hiring manager is supposed to do next. For example, ask what delivery method is best to send a follow-up letter thanking the interviewer for the job offer. Commit to whatever method is agreed upon.

Timeline

Don’t be afraid to create a sense of urgency. Letting an employer know that you are in demand may encourage an employer to move more swiftly in making a final offer. Don’t press the issue, but let the employer know you are on a timeline and require a final offer by a designated deadline. This allows you to provide your current employer with enough notice to replace you.

Advance Notice

When announcing your resignation from your current job, give your employer two to four weeks notice or the amount of time requested in your company handbook. Provide written notice by way of a letter of resignation. Maintain a professional tone and clearly state your intention to resign from your job. Offer a planned resignation date and thank your employer for the opportunities you’ve received while in employment.

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